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Recommended 'Kosher for Passover' wines

Wednesday, March 17, 2010; E05

These recommended wines are all labeled "Kosher for Passover" and are listed here based on a nonsectarian appreciation of their quality.

Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
**
Galilee, Israel, $15

The back label boasts that this wine was aged for eight months in French oak barrels, which obviously is not true. The importer explained that a new winemaker shortened the barrel aging to four months to showcase the wine's fruit, and the winery neglected to alter the label. In any event, the change of strategy paid off, as this wine is delicious. It offers bright, dense fruit flavors and just enough oak to lend structure but not overpower. By any measure, this is a good-value cabernet for the price.

Palm Bay/Republic National: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market Glover Park. Available in Maryland at Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia, Village Wine & Liquors in Baltimore.

Yarden Syrah 2005
**
Galilee, Israel, $25

Rich and soft in a New World style, this syrah nicely balances its fruit with oak.

Frederick P. Winner: Available in Maryland at Rodman's in Wheaton and Rockville, Kosher Mart in Rockville, Beers and Cheers in Gaithersburg, DeWine Spirits and Village Wine & Liquors in Baltimore; on the list at Kosher Bite in Baltimore. Winebow in the District and Virginia Imports in Virginia (carries Yarden, but not this particular wine).

Cantina Gabriele Pinot Grigio 2008
* 1/2
Veneto, Italy, $14

Bright and refreshing, with vibrant fruit, this is delicious pinot grigio. This label has a wide variety of kosher wines, including a nice Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

M Touton Selections: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Bell Wine & Spirits, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop and World Gourmet Wine & Beer in Potomac, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, and Old Farm Liquors, Riverside Liquor and Westridge Liquors in Frederick; on the list at Pomegranate in Potomac. Available in Virginia at Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview, the Wine Seller in Herndon.

Ella Valley Vineyards Ever Red 2005
* 1/2
Ella Valley, Israel, $25

This wine offers a gorgeous nose of berries and woodspice, reminiscent of a young Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. I suspect the wood might dominate with further aging, but right now it is drinking quite nicely.

M Touton Selections: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Schneider's of Capitol Hill. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac.

Ella Valley Vineyards Chardonnay 2007
*
Ella Valley, Israel, $25

It has good chardonnay fruit with some steeliness and minerality. This wine should appeal to fans of Macon chardonnays from Burgundy.

M Touton Selections: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Schneider's of Capitol Hill. Available in Maryland at World Gourmet Wine & Beer in Potomac, Kosher Mart in Rockville. Available in Virginia at Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean.

Dalton Canaan White 2007
*
Upper Galilee, Israel, $20

This blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and Riesling is lush and oily in the mouth, with hints of tropical fruit.

Republic National: Available in the District at Wine Specialist.

Key

*** Exceptional ** Excellent * Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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